Get a taste of the Big Apple at mouthwatering rates.
A plane ticket to NYC grants access to one of the world’s richest cultural hotspots. Shopping the market is your best bet for finding cheap flights. Compare airlines and airports to balance convenience and cost.
Which airlines fly to New York City?
There are three major airports you can fly into. All offer swift transport to the island:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Located at the southern tip of Queens, JFK offers the most international flights of all the NYC airports.
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA). Right off the Grand Central Parkway in northern Queens, it serves mostly domestic travelers.
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Although it’s in Newark, New Jersey, it’s the least crowded airport overall. Newark airport handles domestic and international flights.
Not all airlines fly into each airport, so your landing spot might be determined by which carrier you choose.
Major airlines – full-service flight options
More than 35 airlines worldwide fly into the Empire State. Domestic flights are offered by these major carriers:
- American Airlines. You can get a round-trip economy ticket from Chicago to NYC for just over $200. This leading airline flies into all three airports.
- Delta. This Atlanta-based airline will fly you round trip from Chicago to any airport in NYC for as low as $171.60.
- United Airlines. United Airlines flies into EWR and LGA — though it’s cheaper to fly to the latter. A round-trip ticket to fly from Chicago costs about $127.
- Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines’ arctic connection is mostly just in name, though its strongest service is to and from the West Coast. Get a nonstop flight from LAX to EWR for around $381.
- Southwest. Fly into LGA or EWR, and get two free checked bags to boot. Expect to pay around $210 for a ticket from ATL to LGA.
- JetBlue. You can find flights from Atlanta to NYC for around $210 with JetBlue, which calls itself “New York’s Hometown Airline.” Still, it only flies into JFK.
Budget airlines – no-frills options for cheaper flights
- Frontier. Fly from Atlanta to NYC for around $178 with Frontier, a cheap carrier based in Denver. Seat space might be tight on this airline.
- Spirit. The seventh largest commercial carrier in the US, Spirit can get you to LGA for as low as $139 — but without a lot of legroom.
Tips for finding cheap flights to New York City
Shopping for cheap flights to NYC is nearly an art form. Here’s what to consider when crafting your trip:
- When to buy. Booking too soon or too late could cost you. In general, try to purchase tickets during the golden window: up to four months and no later than three weeks before your trip.
- Consider a discount carrier. Discount carriers usually offer budget-friendly tickets, especially if you purchase a few weeks or months in advance. But most offer a no-frills experience — think minimal leg room and an absent snack cart — and you may not be able to reserve specific seats in advance.
- Avoid holiday and festival travel. Christmas and Thanksgiving are major travel holidays, so your best bet at finding cheap tickets is just afterward. January and February offer super low fares, so bundle up!
- Embrace the red-eye. Early bird and late-night flights tend to be cheapest, so it might be worth abiding inconvenient travel times if your circadian rhythm allows you to sleep on the plane.
- Browse different airports. Since NYC has three airports to choose from, try experimenting with different arrival and departure destinations. You can get an Uber Pool from EWR to Times Square for around $40 and change, so flying into Newark might be worth it if you can save more than $50.
- Compare airlines. The cost of a round-trip ticket to NYC varies depending on your point of departure,, so be sure to see what each carrier has to offer your locale.
Find a cheap flight to NYC
New York’s main airport is JFK and the most economical option to get to NYC is the AirTrain system which runs 24/7 every day of the year. You’ll need to get to Jamaica or Howard Beach Station and change to the subway for NYC. From La Guardia (LGA) take the Q70 or M60 bus to the subway or all the way to the city. Newark Airport (EWR) is a bit further out and has a light rail system to Airport Station which is served by New Jersey Transit for services to New York’s Penn station.
Visitors can buy and top up a MetroCard in advance or on arrival to cover subway and bus fares. If travelling with two or more people, you might save some money by taking a taxi from the airport or booking a private transfer.
Taxi stands are outside the baggage claim area of each airport with dispatchers in uniforms to help you. It’s a flat fee from JFK and takes up to an hour to NYC. La Guardia is closer, taking up to 40 minutes by metered taxi. Be cautious of taxi touts who will overcharge you. Shuttle services also operate from all three airports to Grand Central, Penn Station or the bus terminal. There are many options for getting around NYC after arrival.
Booking a cheap flight to NYC means saving cash for treats and once-in-a-lifetime experiences once you land. But even in the city that never sleeps, you’ll still need to book a New York City hotel room — if only to stash your stuff.